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Getaways: Singita Serengeti House

A luxury private retreat in Tanzania lets its surroundings sing for themselves

Written by Jenny Bradley Pfeffer

In a setting as dreamy and majestic as Tanzania’s Serengeti plains, it would be foolish to even try to compete with Mother Nature. Here, elephants and giraffes are passersby, and sunsets are as mesmerizing as they come—interiors can’t help but be a supporting player to the vistas.

The lead designer of Singita Serengeti House, Geordi de Sousa Costa, has no problem with that. “The natural beauty of the landscape and extraordinary environment is the hero in this context,” she says. “The interiors exist to enrich the experience of being in the wilderness. Serengeti House’s interiors are subtle, elegant, and comfortable. They do not shout too loudly.”

Understated doesn’t (by a long shot) mean second fiddle. After an extensive redesign by the interior and architectural firm of Cécile & Boyd, Serengeti House reopened in October 2017. And while preservation and protection are Singita’s top priorities, luxury and hospitality never take a back seat. 

Privacy is a common commodity at Singita Serengeti House, where wildlife are the only neighbors. Daybeds and alfresco dining areas encourage convening with Mother Nature.

With just two suites in the main house and two garden suites, the retreat is designed for exclusive use. Amenities include an infinity pool, tented spa suite, and outdoor dining decks and fire pits. 

Deep verandas with beckoning daybeds provide panoramic views of the plains. A private staff (including a full-time guide) means your itinerary is all your own—from sunup to sundown.

The layered, restrained interiors are the epitome of design simplicity. Texture is king of the jungle here. 

Polished concrete floors host hand-loomed rugs and leather sofas. Cotton and linen fabrics mix with raw silk, wicker, and grass cloth—the textural version of a symphony orchestra. 

“We wanted a casual but slightly elegant approach,” designer Geordi de Sousa Costa says. “We love to use natural, raw products and then throw in interesting artifacts and art.”

Color was kept to a minimum. “We chose a pale palette to provide coolness and refuge from a harsh environment,” de Sousa Costa says. “The blond straw tones of the surrounding grasses and the soft beiges and tans of flora and fauna are inspirations for the palette. 

Pale gray represents the sky when less verdant.” Chosen to accompany, the materials never distract from this magnificent natural beauty. 

Serengeti House amenities include a tented spa suite and an outdoor fire pit around which guests can enjoy stunning sunsets while sipping sundowners. 

Singita Serengeti House is located in the Singita Grumeti reserve, adjacent to Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. For additional details and rates, visit or e-mail

Photography: Couresty of Singita Serengeti House